back to article HPE buying SimpliVity is like a 'unicorn barbecue' – HCI boss man

El Reg talked with Scale Computing co-founder and CEO Jeff Ready and asked him about the HPE SimpliVity acquisition and what it means for HPE, for the hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) market, and for Scale. See if you agree with his thinking that Scale is better positioned than HPE in the HCI market. El Reg: How did the …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Suprised ?

    Well he would say that, wouldn't he :-) Besides Simplivity supposedly support Hyper-V and KVM these days.

    As for Xpoint the initial price point will mean it's aimed at relativity small tiers of cache. If you want to deploy that as a traditional tier then you're going to need all the help you can get to hit a comparable $/GB.

    The massive capacities on the horizon will be available to everyone, how efficiently they get utilized will remain a differentiator. So it's not time to throw space efficiency out the window just yet, besides that investment has already payed off.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What on Earth has deduplication to do with drive sizes?

    With that logic we should have dropped it already, since we moved from MB to TB so fast... right?

    I bet Scale does not compress its backups now that LTO tapes are so big and fast...

    What a bunch of nonsense...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What on Earth has deduplication to do with drive sizes?

      Thanks for saving me the time of writing that.

      I was going to drop in "640K of memory out to be enough for anybody" quote as an illustration of how otherwise bright people make stupid comments / miss things.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    with this HPe/Simplivity deal, you now have a solution that is part simplivity, part HPe, with parts from dell/EMC, and VMware..... silly me, I thought hyperconvergence was about simplifying.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Simplification??

      Err no, today you have an interim period of build your own on Dell / Cisco etc or buy on Simplivity, pretty much as it has been and will continue to be for most HCI players in the market.

      Assuming the acquisition goes through you'll see a HPE end to end solution in terms of HCI and hopefully a choice of hypervisor, whats not simple about that ?

  5. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    I kinda like the "unicorn barbecue" bit...

    The question is, who gets the tenderloin, who gets the horn or the hooves...

    1. MaxxiM

      Unicorn hooves make the best glue. Amazing stickiness. Favorite glue of all the best people. They're gonna use Unicorn-Hoof Glue for The Wall. It's gonna be tremendous, believe me. Nobody's going to build a better wall from Unicorn-Hoof Glue than the USA.

    2. Crafty volt 7

      The Horn is mine!!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scale? Great in theory

    I followed them since launch, was initially very excited at the marketecture. Over the years, and talking with more than a few members of their install base...the product itself is not nearly as cool as the marketing (of course) and customers complain of a inflexible system and at least two have experienced irretrievable data loss by staying on the Scale platform. That last bit came from two separate customers in conversation over the last year, and from the customers description of events stemmed from basic flaws in the platform itself.

    Possibly the lack of any sort of exit is because of these sorts of experience in the install base. Market share is too small to justify an IPO and the companies that might choose to swallow Scale do not want the liability.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Scale? Great in theory

      Last time I looked, Scale had 6000+ units fielded and over 2500 customers. Hardly a small install base, and judging from the commentary on SW, folks seem to love their stuff. Don't know who you talked to, but the problems you describe sounds outlier to me.

    2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Scale? Great in theory

      Sorry, but you are presenting alternative facts as truths here.

      Data loss events with Scale were way back in the old days before Scale was HCI, and IIRC, they involved not doing things as per the manual. Since then, a lot has changed. The entire underlying Scale storage platform has changed - at least twice - as has Scale's business model. (They've gone from external storage to HCI.)

      I simply do not believe that there have been spontaneous data loss events with the Scale HCI platform, especially since the conversion to the HEAT storage engine. Indeed, I've had quite the run of bad hard drives (thanks, Dell) myself, and the system has adjusted brilliantly to each event.

      Also, you know, I have spent literally hundreds of hours over the past year putting a concerted effort into trying to break Scale, to little avail. (There is geek cred to being able to bug report neat things in front of a Slack channel full of many of one's professional heroes.)

      Scale isn't the most feature rich solution out there. This isn't because KVM is in some way limited, but becuase Scale automate or choose not to expose all features to the client. Fair enough. That's a design choice.

      But what they do expose is pretty badass. It's easy to use, and above all it is solid. I bet my own business on Scale. Many of my customers now run Scale. My lab's infrastructure runs on Scale. I kick the crap out of their stuff - both GA and beta - all day, every day and have been doing so for over a year now.

      There is nothing wrong with Scale Computing's HCI solutions. Oh, I could give a seminar on where I think they are off on business focus in one area, or where I don't think partnerships or development are going fast enough. I've had those conversations with them any number of times. But the tech itself is solid.

      As for discussions of market share being too small, well...I'm bound by NDA and can't go into detail, but you are (unsurprisingly) not accurate here either. Scale has enough flowing through to justify an IPO, but they are also patient enough to wait for the right time. This SimpliVity deal has proven that "right now" isn't it.

      And why should they? Between existing customers, and some of the deals in late stages they'll be profitable soon enough. Scale's channel partners are enthusiastic to the point of religion, and their customers (myself included) are basically a cult.

      Scale only has to play the long game - and believe me, they're aware of all the possible scenarios, as we debate it all in excruciating detail regularly - and they'll win. They can either buy out their backers and stay a privately held company, or IPO at time of their choosing. Their backers seem (so far) cool with the idea of taking time and aren't pushing for some massively leveraged IPO with shockingly punitive run rates gushing red ink.

      Scale has problems, don't get me wrong. any company does. What they aren't is a company that peddles broken gear. Debate the features or "inflexibility" or various design choices all you want, but don't spread "alternative facts" about them. They don't deserve it, and neither do El Reg's readers.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But does it really Scale?

    Lets be honest, Scale has existed by catering to the S in SMB. 25k offerings meant for cheap throw away kit or cheapo companies who dont want to bother with an engineered solution, typical Trevor customers :)

    That said, its a good solid platform, it just wont ever compete or be a vialbe long term player. Not enough differentiation and going after KVM at the small potatoes end of the sales cycle isnt a money maker. Now if they wanted to really make money they could pivot higher, but I dont think their solution actually Scales to support it. Hey if you're profitable and can make a go of it without borrowing money then more power too you. At some point, you have to decide what you want to be when you grow up. HCI space is certainly here for a bit longer, so make some money while if you can. There are no more exits in this space to be had.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But does it really Scale?

      The S in SMB? Really? That may be the least informed and most arrogant talking point I have heard in an age. I know they are in everything from NATO to Oxford University to multiple US based and European multi-nationals and large government entities. Yeah, they start at 7k, not 25, but they scale up into the 100's of TB range. This they do without the river of red ink the other HCI vendors are spilling (to the tune of over half a million dollars per day they are open). At the end of the day, business fundamentals matter, and they have built a company that (as they put it in the article) is on the cusp of profitability on a total take in VC cash that is less than some of those other HCI companies have set on fire in just the last 6 months. Evidently, the fire over which the Unicorn is barbequeued.....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: But does it really Scale?

        That SMB stands for Stupid Mindless Business, scale has this market cornered...

    2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: But does it really Scale?

      Man, if only I wasn't bound by NDA, I'd kick your ass so hard over this bullshit FUD...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nutanix debuted at VMworld 2011, which I easily found by searching, also noting that they also won Best of VMworld that year. Oh, how times have changed.

    Oh, and fact check, please.

  9. DavidCarter

    These answers are so biased and wrong they're borderline funny.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      This is true, but sadly, for other reasons it has still turned out to be a Unicorn barbie. This is because since HPe acquired them, their quotes have been part of a new Black Mirror special edition, real life - real time story of Simplivity and HPe......

      It will be great to watch on Netflix when the saga is over....

      I believe the theme of the seven deadly sins on this one is focused around corporate Gluttony backed up by crass corporate stupidity...

      Thanks Meg!!

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

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